Saturday, May 28, 2011

Car driver knowledge worries me and my motorcycle riding friends

A sobering article in the NY Times about US drivers' rules knowledge. Repeated here w/o permission. Click the title for the original.

What to Do at a Yellow Light? And Other Things American Drivers Don’t Know

If required to take a written drivers’ test today, nearly one in five licensed drivers would not pass, according to results of the 2011 GMAC Insurance National Driver’s Test. This translates to 36.9 million American drivers, or 18 percent of the country’s total licensed motorists, who lack knowledge of some basic rules of the road — a conclusion that probably won’t surprise many drivers.

When asked what a motorist should do when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, 85 percent could not identify the correct action. Meanwhile, according to the survey, only 25 percent of respondents understood the concept of a safe following distance.

This is the seventh annual survey by GMAC, one of the largest automobile insurers in the United States. What little good news the survey bore was modest. The average survey score of all drivers increased from 76.2 percent in 2010 to 77.9 percent this year.

While many New Yorkers would contest this finding, the Empire State no longer ranks last, moving to 45th place after three consecutive years as the lowest performer on the survey, scoring a cumulative 75.3 percent. The District of Columbia now carries the dubious distinction, scoring 71.8 percent. Still, there’s precious room at the bottom: one out of three of all drivers in New York and Washington failed the test.

Men also performed better than women on the survey, earning an average score of 80.2 percent, while women recorded 74.1 percent.

This year’s survey polled 5,130 licensed drivers ages 16-65, from 50 states and the District of Columbia, and gauged driver knowledge by administering 20 questions taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles exams.

Licensed or unlicensed, anyone can take the survey at GMAC’s Web site, but be prepared to provide your name and e-mail address to view your score, and be aware that the box to receive marketing and promotional information is automatically checked.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ride your motorcycle to work

It's that time of the year again!

I suggest reversing things:
Drive your car to work on the 3rd and ride every other day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Onboard for 1 lap of the North West 200 motorcycle race at Isle of Man

Sort of a prep race for the Isle of Man TT, the North West 200 is an actual race (as opposed to timed laps) on the same roads. Watch the craziness below:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

3 wheeled motorcycles -- a sign of the apocalypse?'s May 22nd. Despite recent claims that "the Bible guarantees it," yesterday was obviously not the end of the world.

A more reliable indicator of a significant change is the preponderance of 3-wheeled motorcycles on the road. For many folks though, rather than marking the end of the world, riding a 3-wheeler is more like the beginning. The inherent stability of a 3-wheeler opens up motorcycling to more potential riders. While true they will never know the joy of leaning into a turn, taking turns at speed on 3 wheels can be particularly exciting in its own right.

Whether on 2 or 3 wheels, ride like there's no tomorrow!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Motorcyclists from Limerick attempt world record

For the noble cause of Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, 7 motorcycle riders from Limerick hope to make it into the Guinness Book of Records by traveling 1200 miles circumnavigating Ireland in 2 days. (Read more about it here.) A creative blog poster would have written a limerick for the 7 chaps from Limerick...the best I can do is say

Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NY Scooter Club!!

I want in!
Gotta find me a scooter though... about this one?

Knowing how to use the brakes is most important on a motorcycle

Proper use of your brakes, especially your front brake, is important if you want to ride your motorcycle for many years to come. Here's a good read recently posted How to use your motorcycle’s brakes and you can check out my 9 riding tips post from Sep 2007 (tip number 5).

Ride Safe!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Motorcycle squids know no boundaries!

2 wheels + testosterone = squid in any country

From Urban Dictionary:
1. squid

A young motorcyclist who overestimates his abilities, boasts of his riding skills when in reality he has none. Squid bikes are usually decorated with chrome and various anodized bits. Rear tyres are too wide for their own good, swingarm extended. Really slow in the corners, and sudden bursts of acceleration when a straight appears. Squids wear no protection, deeming themselves invincible. This fact compounds intself with the fact that they engage in 'extreem riding'--performing wheelies and stoppies in public areas. Squids wreck alot. Derived from 'squirly kid'

2. squid

An extremely rare animal with a short lifespan. Usually a new sport bike enthusiast with the reasoning of a lunatic, whom you might see thrashing on an R1 wearing sandals, shorts, and a tee.
When found lying motionless on the pavement, this creature transforms itself into a stream of blood, exposed flesh, and broken limbs. Hence the squid moniker.

No helmet, no gas -- efforts to reduce motorcyclist death rate in India

An interesting incentive to try to get motorcyclists to wear helmets...
I wonder why passing a helmet law doesn't work?

Friday, May 6, 2011

A custom motorcycle using a Moto Guzzi

I'm thinking more and more that a Moto Guzzi of some sort is in my future....what do you think?